Elop is perhaps best known for his time at Microsoft, which included a stint from 2008 to 2010, and then again from 2014 to 2015 as Nokia’s smartphone business was acquired by Microsoft. The deal was supposed to propel Microsoft into the fast lane of the smartphone business, but the company struggled to make it work and took a $7.6 billion charge related to the acquisition one year later.
Before his time with Microsoft, Elop was CEO of Adobe and COO at Juniper Networks. He was most recently an executive at Sydney-based Telstra.
Elop also been a pilot for 30 years — and thus his interest in APiJET, which formed last year as part of a joint venture between Seattle’s Aviation Partners and iJet Technologies. The company is aimed at making airplanes smarter in real-time — and producing significant savings for airlines in the process. Its first customer was Icelandair and it recently inked a deal with Alaska Airlines.
“APiJET is leading the way in bringing today’s data-driven digital revolution to the aviation industry, and it represents a confluence of two of my greatest passions – disruptive technology and aviation,” Elop said in a statement.
Elop replaces Tom Gibbons, who was serving as interim CEO and will stay on as COO.
— Create33 is going through a small leadership shuffle as it embarks on its second year in Seattle. The “founder center” located one floor beneath Madrona Venture Group appointed Rebecca Lovell as executive director.
Lovell, a longtime mainstay of the Seattle startup scene, joined this past December as a director but will take on a more active role leading the day-to-day operations and strategy for Create33.
Micah Baldwin, who was previously executive director, will become a managing director focused on special projects. Baldwin is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor who spent years in Silicon Valley before moving to Seattle to lead a startup program at Amazon.
Create33 is a unique hybrid of co-working space and a community nexus. It houses 14 startups in its downtown Seattle space and counts more than 250 individual members. Create33 has welcomed more than 4,400 people at nearly 200 events over the past year.
One year ago:
0 members ($0mm raised)
0 events with 0 attendees
0 corporate partners
270+ members ($111mm+ raised)
200+ events with 4400+ attendees
15 corporate partners
— Micah Baldwin (@micah) September 13, 2019
The organization hopes to be involved with more Seattle startup “success stories,” Lovell said, whether it’s connecting founders to investors or paving the way for more local fintech activity as part of its new focus on specific verticals.
“We can have that Switzerland stance and have a strong point of view, but bring people together, whether it’s customers or investors or other organizations, to engineer some of those connections,” Lovell said. “There’s a lot that you can do, but it’s difficult to connect those dots. We’ve been really intentional about that.”
Baldwin pointed specifically to the lack of angel investors in Seattle, particularly compared to the Bay Area. He said angels exist in Seattle, but they aren’t necessarily involved or vocal. He hopes Create33 can help change that.
“The big hole right now in the Seattle startup ecosystem is really the access to capital at the angel level to support companies as they are getting going,” he said.
Other Create33 staff include Jaren Schwartz, senior director who previously worked at Techstars Seattle, and Emily Cangie, director of business development who joined in May after stints at several startups and The Robert Allen Group.
“When we first conceived of what has become Create33, we found in Micah a dynamic leader who shared and expanded on our vision, and who built a high caliber team to bring that vision to reality,” Madrona Managing Director Scott Jacobson said in a statement. “It is inspiring, just a year later, to see the progress Micah, Rebecca and team have made. They have established Create33 as an invaluable resource for early stage technology companies in our region and the ecosystem of partners that help these companies grow and thrive. We are excited for Rebecca in her expanded role and look forward to continuing the partnership.”
Madrona is Create33’s largest and most active partner. A staircase connects Madrona’s office down to Create33, but its leaders have been keen to create a degree of separation between the investment firm and the center.
— Gary Gilliland, president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, announced plans to step down from his post next year after a successor is found. See the full GeekWire story here.
— Matthew Quilter left his role as chief financial officer at EagleView Technologies, where he worked nearly four years. Bothell, Wash.-based EagleView, which develops aerial imagery technology, confirmed that Quilter left in mid-July to spend more time with his family. We’ve reached out to Quilter for more details.
— Jay Wampold, a longtime marketing exec with leadership experience at companies including RealNetworks, EMC Isilon, Chef, Amazon Web Services, Qumulo and most recently Cloudability, has taken a new role as chief marketing officer at Bay Area startup CommerceIQ.
Founded in 2012 as Boomerang Commerce, the company helps consumer brands with their operations on Amazon’s marketplace.
“Amazon is writing the blueprint for e-commerce and, over time, commerce,” Wampold said. “Consumer brands have to change how they operate to serve consumers in an increasingly ecommerce world. CommerceIQ is bringing the same type of machine learning and automation that Amazon uses to enable consumer brands like Kellogg’s, Bayer and Kimberly Clark to master machine-based e-commerce and own their own destiny in the digital age.
“This is massive shift and I am excited to lead the go-to-market for CommerceIQ,” he added.
Wampold will head up the company’s Seattle office in South Lake Union, just nearby Amazon’s headquarters.
— Seattle online retailer Zulily hired longtime Amazon exec John Lohnas as chief merchant. Lohnas previously ran apparel and footwear groups at Amazon. He replaces early Zulily employee Lori Twomey, who left this summer.
— Speaking of former Amazon execs … former head of marketing for Amazon Studios Michael Benson will join CBS as its president and chief marketing officer next year. Benson led marketing for Amazon’s TV and movie arm since 2015. He was previously an exec at Time Warner and The Walt Disney Company.
— Seattle startup Hiya added Tim Low as its new chief marketing officer. Low previously spent nearly eight years at Seattle salary data firm PayScale where he was senior vice president of marketing.
Low said there’s “not a more exciting company in Seattle tech” than Hiya, which spun out of Whitepages in 2016 and builds caller ID technology.
“Alex Algard and his team have already hit some important milestones like partnerships with AT&T and Samsung,” said Low, whose resume includes stints at Microsoft, Daptiv, Niku, and Oracle. “I’m very excited to join the team at Hiya.”
PayScale has lost a number of execs — including its CEO, CFO, and chief sales officer — since Francisco Partners took a majority ownership stake in the company in April.
— Portland, Ore.-based Act-On Software hired David Greenberg as its senior vice president of marketing and Aaron Johnson as its chief product officer. Both are longtime Portland tech leaders. Greenberg led marketing for Airship, Jive Software, Puppet, and Liveops. Johnson led product and engineering teams at New Relic and Jive.
“We’re excited for Act-On to attract this level of top talent and are proud to welcome David and Aaron to our team,” Kate Johnson, CEO of Act-On, said in a statement. “Their leadership and expertise in the martech industry help support the strong direction we’re heading in as we continue to enhance our best-in-class platform and customer experience.”
Act-On is a 11-year-old marketing automation company that serves customer such as Sharp; Stanford University; 23AndMe; Samsung; and others. It has raised more than $70 million to date.
— Dominique Trempont, a longtime tech exec and investor who worked with Steve Jobs at NeXT Software back in the 90s, will not stand for re-election as a director for Seattle-based RealNetworks. He served on the board for nine years. “His decision was not due to any disagreement with the company on any matter relating to RealNetworks’ operations, policies or practices,” RealNetworks said in a SEC filing.
— Lighthouse eDiscovery announced Greg Olson as its new vice president of delivery operations. Olson was previously executive managing director at Pivotal Experts and spent 15 years in various executive roles at Kroll Ontrack (now KLDiscovery). Seattle-based Lighthouse makes software that helps lawyers quickly sift through mountains of complex documentation.
— Seattle healthtech startup Sync.MD added Darin Selnick as an advisor. Selnick was previously a senior advisor to the secretary at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and served as an advisor to the White House Domestic Policy Council.